The first Ethics Alarms post about the trolling masterpiece “It’s OK to be white” was in 2017. The message, apparently launched by those puckish trouble-makers at 4Chan, first appeared on stickers appearing on the Harvard campus, sparking an idiotic response from an African American dean. I concluded, in part, that the sticker campaign was brilliant “no matter who came up with it or what the motive was,”; that anyone who was troubled by the message is part of the problem the stickers are responding to, and that the stickers would have been harmless if they were treated as harmless, and they should have been.
The Ethics Alarms’ self-appointed Voice of the Woke at the time took umbrage, saying, “The stickers are stupid. No one disputes that it’s OK to be white….The correct response from average citizens to this display of faux persecution should be mockery and ridicule, not outrage.” Realizing a hanging curve over the middle of the plate when I say one, I replied in part, ,
“You know, it’s easy to deal with any problem if you make up your own facts. Nobody says its not OK to be white? This list took me less than 10 minutes:
Then there’s the Ethics Alarms anti-white racism tag…https://ethicsalarms.com/tag/anti-white-racism/ All resulting in THIS:
As I may have mentioned, I was explicitly told that the only reason I was not hired as an Assistant US Attorney in DC …a life and career-altering result for me…was that I was white. Now, I think it is reasonable to assume that if I was not hired because I was white, there was something “not OK” with my being white. I’m not unhappy or bitter about this, but it happened.
The problem with being an ideologue… is that it requires distorting reality.
Beware of Nazi fleas!
“I had to check with the chief over what is actionable and what isn’t,” according to the mayor. “Unless something violates state or federal law, there’s no jurisdiction for government to do anything. We had to ask, is it something controlled by law?”
—-Wallingford, Connecticut Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr, explaining why his ignorance of Constitutional rights compelled him to check with the police after a hysteric freaked out over a flea market that was selling Confederate and Nazi themed items, and called 911 and the mayor’s office in a panic.
“It’s unfortunate that under the law people have the right to sell these things; but it doesn’t mean they should sell these things.”
—-Joshua Sayles, assistant regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Connecticut, expressing his regret that the Constitution includes the First Amendment and a right to Free Speech.
The Wallingford resident who called 911 said he “was shaking and almost vomiting. I had to run.” He told 911 there were helmets with swastikas, images of Hitler and other historical Nazi items. He complained that the Confederate items were “not authentic” and were replicas of flags and weapons.
The appropriate response to this individual is: grow up. People do things, like things, say things, believe things, sell things, buy things and think things you may not like, and your proper response if you are offended is to leave the scene, put it out of your mind, make a personal complaint to the individual or individuals in question to express your disagreement if you feel you have to, and then go away. You have no right to sic the law on them. You have no right to stop them. Calling 911 is an abuse of the service. Ethics Dunce #1. Continue reading
As I previously noted, the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy is an epic “ethics train wreck” that has spread its destruction far and wide, across regional, ideological and national borders, leaving confusion, misunderstanding and bad feelings in its wake. Now is as good a time as any to take stock of the situation, and to recognize those who have distinguished themselves during the carnage, for good or ill. To this end, Ethics Alarms presents its first annual (and hopefully last ever) awards for outstanding ethical and unethical conduct during the whole mess, “The Mosquies.”
The envelope, please… Continue reading
What, other than the project itself, is unethical about the Ground Zero mosque plan?
Just this: apparently, despite what we’ve all been told, there isn’t one!
Politico reported yesterday that “New York government officials and real estate insiders are privately questioning whether the project has much chance of coming to fruition.” If the facts stated in Politico’s article are true, that would seem to be an understatement. Among the revelations: Continue reading
Let’s see if I can make this both coherent and succinct.
President Obama was ethical, responsible, and brave to weigh in on the Ground Zero Mosque (more accurately called “The Two-Blocks From Ground Zero Mosque”), and reaffirm America’s commitment to freedom of religion for all faiths by declaring that the Islamic group has the right to build its planned Islamic center.
After being roundly (and predictably) slammed by conservative talking heads, blogging bigots, and ranting reactionaries for stating the obvious, however, the President (or his advisors; the advisors are the ones who thought this was a dandy time to send Michelle and the kids on a luxury vacation in Spain, and can be identified by the large dunce caps on their heads…) decided to come back and clarify his remarks, lest anyone think he was actually endorsing the idea of an Islamic monument so near the spot where thousands of innocent Americans perished at the hands of Islamic extremists.
“I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” Obama told reporters in Panama City, Fla. “I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about.” This statement isn’t quite “I didn’t inhale” or “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is,” but it is still a solid candidate for the Presidential Weasel Words Hall of Fame. By saying he would not comment, President Obama was commenting, and implying, by saying what he would not comment about, that if he did comment, it would be that the mosque was probably not such a hot idea, since fairly or not, it was bound to be misunderstood as an insult to the victims of 9-11.
It was inappropriate and wrong for Obama to suggest this, in weasel words or otherwise. (It would be more honest and forthright to eschew the weasel word method, however.) Continue reading
Fine, reasonable, ethical commentators, not to mention Mayor Bloomberg, have argued that the moderate Muslim group seeking to build an Islamic center and mosque within a hand grenade’s throw of Ground Zero is blameless, persecuted, and as pure as the driven snow in its ethics.
They are ignoring the Second Niggardly Principle, which is understandable since I just formulated the Niggardly Principles One and Two today, after carefully reflecting upon what it could be about this matter that has led so many wise people astray.
Several years ago, a white Washington D.C. government worker, the Shirley Sherrod of his time, was fired for using the word “niggardly” in the work place, which was found to be racially insensitive to those whose vocabulary was so limited they didn’t know that the word had nothing to do with race. This incident embarrassed the D.C. government, which is used to being embarrassed, and inflamed pedants. Eventually the worker was reinstated, and the First Niggardly Principle was born, which is as follows: Continue reading
The proposed Ground Zero mosque should be a straightforward ethics issue, but it is not. Now it is bound up in a thoroughly confusing debate that confounds and blurs law, ethical values, history, rights, and human nature. Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong.
Yes, it’s an Ethics Train Wreck, all right. This one is so bad I hesitated to write about it—ethics train wrecks trap commentators too—in the vain hope that it would somehow resolve itself with minimal harm. That is obviously not in the cards, however; not when the Anti-Defamation League weighs in on the side of religious intolerance, thus forfeiting its integrity and warping its mission. The wreck is still claiming victims, and there is no end in sight. Continue reading
Everybody who watches baseball on TV knows that Fox color man Tim McCarver talks too much. He’s smart, sometimes perceptive, but his opinions during a broadcast constitute the sports equivalent of Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound.” Last week, commenting on a Yankee Stadium game that was preceded by the team’s annual “Old Timer’s Day” parade of superannuated Yankee greats, McCarver chose to express his outrage at what he saw as the Yankees’ banishment of former manager Joe Torre (now managing the L.A. Dodgers after an acrimonious departure from New York, followed by a tell-all book) to relative obscurity: Continue reading